Like many folks, I have suspected David Ortiz of taking steroids for a long time. Of course, that could very well be the biased Yankee fan in me, but it matters not:
Ortiz has been BUSTED.
Manny is not a surprise at all, as he'd already been caught this season. But Ortiz, a known opponent of steroid users, is a big deal.
He's a guy that the Yankees and Red Sox had both considered signing before the 2003 season. He was not a superstar in his previous home in Minnesota by any means, but upon joining the Red Sox in '03, he had his first-ever 30-homer season, turned from an outcast into a hero, and led his team to a pair of World Series titles.
Now we know why.
This, of course, taints the two Red Sox titles, but I'm not going to demand they be rescinded. You never know who's been roiding and where, so it's pointless to punish a team because of a few players, no matter how important they may be.
It is more problematic here, as the infamous curse of the Bambino had been supposedly broken in 2004, and as a Yankee fan, this brings a little solace. But again, I'm not saying the Red Sox's titles should be taken away.
However, as an individual, this should bring a huge cloud over the reputation of David Ortiz.
But this is all obvious. We all know what a big deal this is to the players involved, and I don't need to comment very much. There are, however, two other individuals that I'd like to mention.
First off, there's former Maine Senator George Mitchell, who took up a personal crusade against performance-enhancing drugs and created his own report a few years ago.
On the Mitchell Report list, the Yankees and Mets were well represented, but the Red Sox (his hometown team) were noticeably absent. New Yorkers pointed out that the trainers investigated in the Report were New York-based trainers, which is why the report was so New York-centric, but many Red Sox fans took the opportunity to taunt Yankees fans while touting their own innocence.
This changes everything. However, it remains curious as to why Mitchell chose to focus on New York when steroid abuse was also going on in Massachusetts, a New England state much like Maine, the state for which he served as senator.
The fact that he was on the Red Sox's board of directors at the time of the report is further incriminating, especially considering today's news.
The second individual is Selena Roberts, who released A-Rod's name from the list before the season.
Clearly, A-Rod is not the only notable player on this list. Did Roberts have access to the entire list or just A-Rod's name? The latter option doesn't seem to make much sense. But if Roberts had access to the list, why wouldn't she release anyone else's name, limiting herself to A-Rod alone? Ortiz and Manny would have been equally huge stories.
Then again, the Times also released only two players' names. What else do they know, and what information are they withholding?
This list is supposed to remain secret, and I don't know how any names were leaked or if any more will be leaked in the future. But the names are there, and the players will have to deal with the consequences. Let's see if Ortiz sticks by his contention that steroid users should receive a one-year suspension. Something tells me he'll be backing off a little.
(Thanks to Dachs for the tip.)